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Violin Solo 2 – Milan Paľa

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Violin solo in the creation of Slovak composers interpreted Slovak violin virtuoso Milan Paľa. This is the second part of the great complete.

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SKU: PA 0079-2/9
Tags: M. Paľa

Violin Solo in the works of slovak composers


Evgeny Irshai
Omni tempore for solo violin
From Nowhere with Love for solo violin
Lost notes for solo violin
Pimpampunči for solo violin
Vodever for solo violin
Ex foedere for solo violin

Peter Groll – Play Violin for violin and PC processing


Matej Háasz – Frammento di Epos for solo violin
Adrián Demoč – Violin for solo violin, Katharsis for solo violin, Apogeum for solo violin
Lucia Koňakovská – At the Bottom of Nonsense for solo violin, Schizofrescoes for solo violin
Marián Lejava – Violino solo for solo violin
Anton Steinecker – Preludium for solo violin, Invention for solo violin
Lucia Papanetzová – Imagination 5. for solo violin

Here’s the first part of an extensive project to make all the works of Slovak artists for solo violin, which interprets the unique way the young violin virtuoso Milan Pala.

j e v g e n i j i r š a i (1 9 5 1)

Evgeny Irshai studied composition and piano at the Special Music School (1958-1969) and at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory (1969-1978) in St. Petersburg. He has been living in Slovakia since 1991. He lectures composition at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. He is a laureate of various international competitions and was awarded different prizes, such as Jan Levoslav Bella award (2000) and Dezider Zador award (2008, Ukraine). Irshai`s music is characteristic by his sense for dramatic composition and his ability to develop minimal musical material but reaching maximal effect. His concert and chamber compositions have been successfully performed in many European countries as well as in the USA. Many soloists and chamber musicians ask the author for composing directly for them and are honored to include his compositions to their repertoire. The pieces recorded on this CD show, on one side, the author – mature and reputable composer writing music with a great artistic utterance and on the other side young violinist with rich performing experience whose talent combined with brilliant technical skills and especially his exceptional feeling for Irshai`s music make a wonderful symbiosis of a composer and a performer. “My father was an excellent violinist and a remarkable musician. He is still alive but he does not play anymore – that is why I say – he was. He is now 88. I am truly grateful for many things to him. Firstly, I am thankful for my talents, for his precious advices concerning music, for my nature (?) and also for the love towards music and in some sense towards violin too. Although without meeting Milan Paľa I may not have composed so intently for this instrument – so exceptional in real master’s hands. Sometime in 1999 my good friend – organist Martin Kovarik suggested I should go to graduate concert of Milan Paľa. I went but I confess I was a little skeptic. After a first few notes I knew I was looking at a great talent. I congratulated Milan after the concert and he asked me to compose a piece for him. So, after a couple of months I brought him Omni tempore and this was the beginning of our long-lasting friendship and cooperation. Every piece Milan recorded on this CD, maybe apart of the one I composed while studying in St. Petersburg, were composed for him. I remember how In memoriam came into existence. We were giving a concert at Musical Autumn festival in Banska Bystrica that was organized by Zuzana Martinakova. A day before actual performance we found out that we need one more piece. Milan simply told me to go home and write for him something short – for about eight minutes. So I went home and did as he had said. I called it Trills for A. In about a year I rewrote it a little and renamed for In memoriam. Then again, in 2004, Milan asked me to compose for him a 20 minute piece – maximally complicated and masterful – to perform it at international competition in Riga, Latvia. What could I do? I composed Ex foedere. Roughly a year ago Milan asked for a new composition. I had no idea what it could be so I asked him to which he replied – anything! So I composed “Whatever”, which in Slovak tran- scription makes the title of the piece, Vodever. The word Pimpampuntshi comes from Flemish and means ladybird. It is a cycle of six short compositions for solo violin framed in a way that each of them is played separately, at the end of a concert as an addition and was called ladybird in different languages. Ниоткуда с любовью… (From nowhere with love) is a beginning of a great poem by fantastic Russian poet Joseph Brodsky that was written shortly after he went to exile in the US. Except the compositions for violin solo recorded by Milan on this CD, I have composed two sonatas for violin and piano, concert for violin, piano and orchestra In the Space of Love, concert for violin, violoncello and orchestra Uangamizi, concert for violin and orchestra Ashira Songs and concert for violin and string orchestra Shinui Tsura. For being able to write all these compositions I thank to my father who endowed me with love for music and violin and to Milan Paľa who has been inspiring me for writing more and more. I hope to finish the third sonata for violin and piano soon. Let me say couple of words about the piece Lost Notes. It is the composition I wrote during my university studies. It is actually the last part from sonata for violin solo. Somehow I happened to lose the first two. I didn’t like this composition very much. The first interpret who performed its premiere, in about 1973, played it very superficially and without any concern. I as so disappointed by my own composition and also the interpretation that I thought that the piece does not deserve to live. It was Milan Paľa who convinced me to show him this third, found-by-accident-part and later to record it on this CD.” – (author)

a d r i á n d e m o č (1 9 8 5)

Adrián Demoč studied composition at the Janacek Academy of Performing Arts in Brno between 2003 and 2008. Between 2004 and 2005 he was admitted on a full scholarship to Academy in Bucharest and between 2006 and 2007 to the Vilnius Academy. He was a member of The Barefooted orchestra between 2005 and 2007 playing electric piano and electric guitar. He was awarded Janacek prize in 2008. Since 2008 he has been doing his postgraduate studies at Janacek Academy of Performing Arts in Brno. In his compositions Demoč points out the sonority and expressive variety. While in Katharsis and Apogeum he changes contrast, passionate and dramatic expression for peaceful melodic passages, the Violin is more sorrowful and grieving. Katharsis (2003) – “is the first composition I wrote on Janacek Academy of Performing Arts. It was written during several autumn weeks, originally for cello. When Milan Paľa heard it he asked me to rewrite it for violin. It was the beginning of our friendship and cooperation too.”- (author) Apogeum (2003-4) – “How much passion can carry a short moment? When writing this short composition I was thinking of Mallarme and the power of symbol (or fragment) and also of a drop of ink in a glass of water (sound and silence).” – (author) Violin (2009) – “After several “more serious” compositions (Scaffold to a deep thought, Chess, Echo) I wrote the Violin. I needed to relieve from calculations and experiments and thus I just let flow the music I heard in my head without interrupting as little as possible. I was singing this music to myself hearing, at the same time, the color of Milan`s violin.” All three compositions are dedicated to Milan Paľa. – (author)

p e t e r g r o l l (1 9 7 4)

Peter Groll studied computing technologies at the vocational school in Bratislava between 1988 and 1992. From 1992 to 1994 he was a member of Musical studio of I. Simeg (singing, drama and dance). Between 1994 and 1998 he studied composition at Bratislava Conservatory and from 1998 to 2003 at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. He was a member and cofounder of SOOZVUK – the civil association of young composers. The main aspect of Groll`s work is drama. He mainly composed music for the contemporary dance projects but also for movie and different dramatic and scenic performances. Sudden contrast of character or expression, typical for drama, can be found also in his chamber music. Characteristic feature of Groll`s music is his preference of sorrowful, even tragic expression which is given by his attitude towards the today’s world problems. Play Violin is a meditative and introvert program-like composition. The electronic details in real time are done in a very gentle way, proving Groll`s sense for sound detail. “Play Violin is a transposition of Play Viola (2000/2009) that I made especially for this magnificent project. It is a single voice composition, enriched by sound modified by electronic effects in real-time. I tried to find simple means to enlarge an illusion of space in all different dimensions. For myself I called this composition a meditation for a single player where the performer is also an “observer” of the sound he had created and that is disappearing in distance. I, as an operator switching the effects, influence the play but I never interfere into it – I just listen to it. I am really glad that Milan was captured by this play and by observing of the changed space and I invite you to join us too.” – (author)

m a t e j h á a s z (1 9 7 7)

Matej Háasz studied composition at the Bratislava Conservatory (1992-1998) and at the Janacek Academy of Performing Arts in Brno (2002-2007). He took a course at the Royal Conservatoire Den Haage in 2005. He composes electroacoustic and scenic music but he also plays in different ensembles, especially doing experimental music. Framneto di epos is a composition reflecting author’s attitude towards the contemporary world which he expresses by using extreme instrument pitch and also using an expression, often evoking the resignation of a man being in inconclusive situation. “Framento di epos (2003), or a fragment of the story of a common man that is soaked by contrast feelings such as burst of spring fragrance and a birdsong. Being constantly torn down by desire, love and searching, by resolutions and disappointments, by enchantments and powerlessness. It’s a fragment of a story of a fighter. I dedicated the composition to Milan Paľa, to a man with fire in his heart.” – (author)

l u c i a k o ň a k o v s k á (1 9 7 5)

Lucia Koňakovská studied composition at Bratislava Conservatory (1993-1997), at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (1997-2001) and at the Academy of Arts in Banska Bystrica (2001-2003). She teaches at the Basic Music School of J. Kresanek in Bratislava. Her compositions are characteristic by horizontal arrangement coming out of a declamation of spoken poetry or fiction, but also by discovering of clear, “unmingled” colors of musical instruments and their combination and by reduction of sonority and number of instruments. She prefers composing for solo instruments but she also writes orchestral music and music for theatre. “Between 1995 and 2007 I composed several pieces for solo instruments, among others At the bottom of nonsense (violin solo 1997) and Schizofresco (violin solo 1998). These compositions have been a demonstration of my love towards solo voice in which is concentrated everything I consider important in music and which is freed from everything I find needless in it. I see solo voice as the point changed into a line – without being “dressed” in sounds but equal in its utterance towards other media. I am grateful that my solos found their way to such a phenomenal musician as Milan Paľa who, humbly but freely and so easily reveals this very essence and conveys its autonomous beauty.” – (author)

m a r i á n l e j a v a (1 9 7 6)

Marián Lejava studied composition and conducting at Bratislava Conservatory (1990-1996) and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (1996-2002). He took part in various master courses abroad. Since 2002 he has been doing his PhD in composition and conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. He is a conductor of Melos Etos Ensemble and VENI ensemble and since 2006 also a host conductor of the Slovak National Theatre Opera in Bratislava. Marián Lejava is a successful conductor and a connoisseur of music of different styles. This shows in his writing where the classic composition techniques blend with new, avant-garde aspects. “Violin solo composition was a first task prof. Vladimir Bokes gave me at the Academy of Performing Arts in 1996. Thus I composed this “farewell to 20th century classics”. The composition has seven episodes. Both first and last one are studies of sonority of open string, the others gradually reveal different challenges of this instrument. The composition sometimes tends to have its own voice (especially its dramatics and side episodes). I changed the composition to its final form in 2001. It was performed by Stano Paluch, Brano Cernakovic and finally by Milan Paľa who played it for the first time in autumn 2008 and made it more than an “initial task”. I am very glad it became part of this recording for which Milan deserves my gratitude.” – (author)

l u c i a p a p a n e t z o v á (1 9 7 8)

Lucia Papanetzová studied organ and choir conducting at J. L. Bell Conservatory in Banska Bystrica (1992-1997) where she also studied composing under a leadership of E. Irshai. Between 1998 and 2003 she studied composition at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava where she has also been doing her postgraduate studies since 2005. She lectures at the department of composition and conducting and also works at the Research center of the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. Every piece composed by Lucia Papanetzová reflects her statements towards the world, a literary piece or music. In her compositions prevails introvercy, intimacy and emotionality. The most important aspect is probably the artistic utterance put into every work by this composer. Imagination 5 – “This composition is dedicated to a memory of a very close person who passed, silently and gravely… I am happy that through the music I could speak unspeakable.” – (author)

a n t o n s t e i n e c k e r (1 9 7 1)

Anton Steinecker studied viola and double bass at Bratislava Conservatory and at Kromerir, Czech Republic (1986-1992). He studied at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (1993-1998) and also took private composition lessons with Tadeas Salva (1993-1995). Between 1995 and 1996 he studied also at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. He continued with studies with Mark Kopytman at Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance (1998-2000) and at Hochschule für Musik Saar in Saarbrücken (2002-2005). He completed his doctorate study at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava in 2010. He participated in different composition workshops in Prague, Ostrava, Pontlevoy and Dsrmstadt. In his compositions Steinecker points out the composition skill that he finds a precondition for an emotionally powerful work. He perceives every composition as a dynamic organism in its motif and expression changes. His work is characterized by well-worked-through rhythmical aspect, sonority and form. The core creates the possibility of developing the motif in a limited space and the relations coming form combinations of instruments or the sound possibilities of an instrument in solo works. Invention (1994-1995) – “Is a composition originally written for viola solo, inspired by Milan Telecky. Mainly for practical reasons I adapted Invention also for solo violin and solo violoncello. The com-position is dedicated to the memory of a remarkable Slovak composer Tadeas Salva whom I honor and whose music I have strong affinity for. Salva tutored me when I was young; he gave me private lessons and consulting since 1992 till he died in 1995. The idea of the compositions comes from the three to five-part form. Different parts of fugue are bridged by episodes of internally divided protestant-like choral. In the final version I dropped from standardized fugue-like finale and I let the composition sound in a variant of choral whose pizzicato parts evoke the sequence from Dies irae from 13th century. The basis of Invention in this stage of my musical thinking (not considering solo compositions of the author like J. S. Bach, M. Reger, P. Hindemith a E. Ysaÿe) was, by using the wide spectrum of string instrument and its technical possibilities, mainly Sonata by Bela Bartok. The style a continuing of D. Shostakovich’s line and thinking.” – (author) Preludium (2001-2002) – “Genesis of Preludium comes from Violoncello Solo, a piece written for a compositional competition Orfeo. Later, after the original version was performed, I reworked it and due to characteristic compositional changes in its structure I called it Preludium. Similarly to Invention, also Preludium was originally written for a different string instrument – violoncello. The composition technique I use is basically altering of repeated, contrastingly characteristic parts of music material. The variety of opening choral, typical for this composition, finishes the entity of the composition.” – (author) “I see my music as an organic entity pursuing for integrity; coming out from an original musical core, interlaced by hocket technique and united with to-me-characteristic chro-matic elements anticipating tension and with close intervals. The substance of my music is expressiveness, human gestures and an ancient resonance pointing back to the Middle East.”

m i l a n p a ľ a

Milan Paľa (1982) belongs to the best contemporary violinists whose playing arouses interest and admiration of both audience and professional musicians. Most of the pieces recorded on this CD were written by the composers especially for Milan being fascinated and inspired by his performance. The pieces that were not composed for Milan are performed by him so absorbingly one can only speculate if there really exist uninteresting compositions or they are only played by ill-suited musicians. Milan`s interpretation of all recorded compositions is brilliant, even fascinating. The CD contains compositions for solo violin by eight Slovak composers, all except Evgeny Irshai belonging to young generation in the age between 25 and 39. Two of them studied at Janacek Academy of Performing Arts in Brno, five of them at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (Lucia Koňakovská began her studies in Bratislava and finished it at the Academy of Arts in Banska Bystrica). Almost all of them participated in composition courses abroad. Evgeny Irshai (1951) was born in St. Petersburg and lives in Slovakia since 1991.

Recorded digitaly at the Moštenica church, 2010 • Recording, Mastering (32 bit/192 kHz), Production and Distribution: PAVLÍK RECORDS • Producer: Leonard Vajdulák • Music Director: Milan Paľa • Sound Director: Rostislav Pavlík • Notes: © Zuzana Martináková • Translation: © Jana Beňová • Photo: © Julián Veverica • Cover picture: © Evgeny Irshai – “Untitled” • Graphic Design: © Martin Vojtek


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